Ron Fellows , No. 1 Nutter Butter/Nilla Wafer Chevrolet (Finished 2nd) "I got to thank everybody at DEI, Kraft Foods, Nilla Wafer, Nutter Butter. Wow, we had a really good Chevy. We had to work hard for that today. I just didn't have enough left...
Ron Fellows , No. 1 Nutter Butter/Nilla Wafer Chevrolet (Finished 2nd)
"I got to thank everybody at DEI, Kraft Foods, Nilla Wafer, Nutter Butter. Wow, we had a really good Chevy. We had to work hard for that today. I just didn't have enough left for Tony for that last caution. All I could do was match his time. I don't know what we would do different. It was great. It wasn't good enough though."
ON YOUR RUN GETTING FROM 43rd TO SECOND
"I don't have any complaints, just a little disappointment. Second again, man. We certainly worked hard. There's no doubt about it. The car was pretty much like practice yesterday. We made a couple little adjustments to get a little bit better through the S's. I have to thank all the guys at DEI for the opportunity. It was an excellent car. We had to work awfully hard. I just didn't have the grip at the end. I worked the car pretty hard. All I could do was watch Tony Stewart for those last eight or 10 laps. I was kind of hoping we didn't get that last caution to be quite honest. We seemed to be reeling it in then. That cooling off period I don't think did our tires much good. It is what is. I don't think I'd change anything other than our starting position. (laughs)"
DID YOU THINK IN THE LAST 10 LAPS YOU HAD ANYTHING FOR TONY?
"We had been faster than him. Obviously when he had a clear track he was able to crank it up. All I could do was match him. I don't know what the lap times were relative to before the caution. It was jut a little bit here, a little bit there. He seemed to be under control and driving very well. I was working an awful lot harder, using a little more curb than he was to try and close the gap. There just wasn't enough time.
DID TONY HAVE ANY ADVANTAGE BY BEING OUT FRONT OR WAS IT ALL ROAD COURSE MANAGEMENT?
"You tend to get a bit of an aero push going up through the S's when you're close behind somebody. We worked hard with the car to try to avoid that to be able to make passes going into the inner loop. The car was excellent. I wasn't close enough to him for aero to be any kind of an issue."
WAS LAP 50 YOUR LAST PIT STOP?
"We topped off but I thought it was about 2 laps after the second from last caution. We came in and took four tires and fuel. It was a just a couple of laps later we came in under green and took fuel."
ON THE S'S
"I think maybe we were a little bit better up through the S's. Tony was getting an excellent run off of turn one. It was pretty evenly matched at the end. We were comfortably able to pull away from the rest of the pack. We needed some more lap traffic or maybe some GT cars (laughs)."
WAS IT DIFFICULT GETTING INTO YOUR PIT BASED ON STARTING 43rd?
"I definitely botched that first pit stop. When I came in I was going just a little bit too hot. When I dipped the clutch and hit the brakes, I stalled the engine. I lost the power steering. I kind of got too close to the wall. It was a lot more difficult than I thought. I had a good look at it this morning. I didn't think it was going to be as difficult as it was. I came in and we got a little too close to the wall for the jackman on the right side. Then we had to push the thing back because we are too far up from the car in front of me. It was just a classic botched rookie pit stop driving."
WHEN IS A WIN GOING TO COME?
"I thought today. I have no complaints. It was an excellent car. I guess we'll be back next year."
ON BEING ABLE TO FINISH HERE CONSIDERING THE LAST THREE OR FOUR STARTS
"The first time I ran in '98 I think for Buzz McCall. I qualified third and we ran second or third early and then broke an axle. The next year with Bully Hill Vineyards working with Brian Patty and Joe Nemechek. It was a last minute deal and we got within three quarters of a second of a win. It's been very difficult since then. I guess it's just a test that getting a win here is not going to be easy. Certainly being with DEI is a huge leg up. Being with one of the best teams is the only way it's going to happen. Hopefully we can maintain that relationship and get a win here."
ON RACING HERE WITH NASCAR DRIVERS COMPETING FOR POINTS TO MAKE THE CHASE FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP
"Quite frankly I don't care. You have to race everybody as clean as possible. If you can't make the pass, don't hit him. When I caught guys, some guys gave away very easily knowing that we had cocked them and there was no point in racing me. That's just smart racing. If I was in the situation I'd do the same thing. If we were racing our Corvette and we had pressure from behind by somebody who wasn't a factor, you let them go. I'm not really stealing any points, maybe some money. It's not anything I thought about. Obviously I didn't want to have contact with somebody and be a factor that way. I just wanted to run as good of a race as I could."
THOUGHTS ON TONY'S CAR
"He went past me early. I worked pretty hard. I guess it was about 30 laps in and I let him go. I didn't have good enough brakes at that point. I wanted to cool them off some. He looked to be the strongest car when he came by me the first time. I felt we had a good enough car to race him should things go well. Obviously we were second best unfortunately."